Saturday, November 26, 2011

SpaceX to Expand Florida Facilities

Space News reports that SpaceX will expand its operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, funded in part by Space Florida.

Falcon 9s fly from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40, which previously was used by the now-retired Titan rocket program. Currently, only one vehicle can be processed at a time at a hangar adjacent to the launch pad.

To accommodate an expected flight rate of 10 to 12 launches per year, SpaceX is building a 16,000-square-meter addition to Space Launch Complex 40 and taking over an old Delta 2 processing building called Hangar AO. Space Florida, a state-funded agency focused on expanding space-related business in Florida, is providing $7.3 million toward the upgrades.

"We’ll be able to integrate three rockets at a time instead of one," Scott Henderson, SpaceX’s director of mission assurance, said at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association conference in Cocoa Beach earlier this month.

The article also quotes Henderson as saying "technically it’s not a challenge" to launch the Falcon Heavy from LC-40. The question is "how you do that while not breaking up your revenue stream as you’re launching Falcon 9."

SpaceX has talked with NASA about launching the Falcon Heavy from the former Shuttle pads at LC-39.

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